There's a problem with miracles. You can ask or pray for them all day long. But they come in their own time. Miracles are the best examples of hope. When they happen they validate our expectations of the future.
“Wayne, Wayne!” Why was Charlie screaming my name? And why did he look like he was fading into the distance? I was the one leaving the room, while still sitting down.
“You passed out. You looked like you were dying.” To be honest with you I thought I was dying, separating from this world.
“I’m fine now but I don’t know what that was. It was weird.” As usual I was trying to take care of everybody else so they wouldn't worry about me. But I was scared. It definitely got my attention.
“WAYNE, WAKE UP!!!” Why was Charlie screaming at me again? And this time a lot louder.
“You passed out again.” Reluctantly I let them call the ambulance. It's good that I did because after getting to the hospital I passed out three more times.
To set the stage for my miracle you need to know that my ex and I had remained friends after our divorce, good friends. I was even friends with her new husband- Charlie.
Fast forward to six months later…I passed out two more times at work. Both times merited a trip to the hospital. I was getting to know the inside of an ambulance like my own car.
Have I prayed for a miracle to happen? Of course. We all have. Have I asked for money, romance, success? Have I prayed really hard? Yes, and? Nothing. It would be egotistic to think that my prayers and wishes resulted in miracles. That’s not how miracles work.
“I’m ok, really. Just need to monitor my meds better.” My stock answer. My ex and her husband were concerned. I guess from their side, watching me pass out was more serious for them than for me. I was worried but when you pass out, possibly like when you die, you have no control over what's happening. You surrender. It is nice though when you wake up or realize you're still alive.
“Charlie and I are worried about you. You didn't see what we saw.”
I had lived alone for 12 years. I also had serious heart conditions for those same 12 years. Congestive heart failure followed by open heart surgery and incorporating 35 medications into my daily regimen while working full time straight through it all- that was my life. Being a Catholic, I believe I was living a blessed life. But I was always alone. That bothered me more than my imminent demise.
Do we have to ask for a miracle to happen to experience one? I don’t think so, because many times when you pray passionately and ask for a miracle to happen, it doesn’t. We forget about it.
“Dad are you OK?” My daughter Lauren checked in on me often. She’s going to fold up when I die.
“Wayne do you need to sit down?” My friends at work really hated me passing out. With passing out, being the tough guy never works. Like a novice I hated being a burden to anyone. Later in life I would realize that there's nothing wrong with being helped by others. It was a natural course of growing old. It makes those who want to take care of you feel good.
“You’re OK you’ve been blessed to live this long. Whatever God has in mind for you is OK.” Now I was talking to myself. Honestly it wasn't OK. I had no fear of death but definitely a curious skepticism about the next life. This life is all any of us know.
“You want to come over and have spaghetti carbonara with us this weekend?” My ex was and still is an Italian cook. Her meals are memorable. I would go over and usually spend the night and hang out with them. Talk about a miracle.
“Sure.” Any social interaction was good but with people my age even better. We celebrated holidays together, frequent weekends together. We even went camping together. (I know I know, this should be the miracle.)
The meal was delicious, as usual. The wine was a great compliment.
“ Charlie and I have been thinking about something. Lauren is getting married in six months and she’ll be moving out of our basement apartment. Why don't you move in?”
“What!” I was in shock followed by intense emotions, recognizing that I was in the middle of yet another miracle. Miracles that you never ask for are the best.
“Are you serious? Do you think the three of us could live together?”
“You need to be near people. No more living alone. We could be there for you if you passed out again or something worse happened. You could live rent and utilities free. It would save you $1500 a month.” My ex was very convincing, just like her name- Hope.
I never asked for this. I had accepted the fact that I would probably die working. No retirement money, only social security. But this! This was like retiring.
“Hope, you have been so good to me and we’ve remained friends for over 20 years, but you’re my ex. We’re divorced. You’ve moved on. Do you really want me back in your life?”
“We’re scared for you to be alone. You’ll move in after Christmas.”
Miracles-they’re hard to accept. Why me? Why now? But you have to trust the sincerity of your loved ones. It would be disrespectful to not.
So, is there a problem with miracles? It's frustrating to ask for something to happen, for something you think you need to survive or that someone else needs in time of distress Then it's equally discouraging when it doesn't happen. Diminishes your enthusiasm to keep asking.
But when a miracle is a surprise- that’s the apex of hope realized. In my case, Hope gave me hope at a time when I was not asking for a miracle. Yes, this was a miracle and still is.